President William Ruto on Sunday, July 16, explained that it was possible for the African continent to achieve stability and economic prosperity witnessed in developed nations.
The President, who was speaking during the opening session of the 5th Mid-year Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU), remarked that it was time for the continent to lift itself from the shackles of poverty.
Ruto, while outlining what needed to be done, noted that African leadership should signal urgency, focus, consistency, and determination to sustainably manage and solve prevailing challenges and develop robust instruments to anticipate and pre-empt future crises.
“It is with such commitment, that we have the confidence to pursue sustainable development and shared prosperity and expect that Agenda 2063 is now firmly on course,” he remarked.
Agenda 2063 is a master plan and blueprint prepared by AU that creates a framework for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.
Ruto noted that one way to achieve Agenda 2063 was the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA).
Ruto noted that AFCTA would open doors for unprecedented socioeconomic transformation.
“We must all be proud of this magnificent project, a historic achievement by and for ourselves, whose positive effects will reverberate throughout the world for a long time to come,” he beseeched fellow Heads of State to support the free market.
According to Ruto, AFCTA had inaugurated the world’s largest free-trade area comprised of 54 countries agreeing to create a single market with a population of 1.4 billion and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ksh482 trillion.
Once fully operational, the free trade area is projected to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and boost incomes by 7 per cent by 2035 according to Ruto.
“This is the magnitude of what typical Pan-African collective action can achieve, and we are only getting started,” he promised.
AFCTA is one of 13 flagship projects of Agenda 2063 that aims to make the continent a global economic powerhouse and cut dependence on developed nations.
“It is more critical now, that we marshal our collective consciousness, to fulfil our fundamental generational mandate of introducing Africa as a new global power, ready and able to provide leadership towards a new industrial age that shall simultaneously usher in an era of inclusive development, shared prosperity, and effective climate action,” Ruto explained his vision for Africa.